Tuesday, 17 June 2008

It is raining

As soon as the first monsoon clouds team up to darken the horizon, all sorts of strange memories invade my mind.

Here I am sitting at the verandah of the small quarter in Durgapur looking out at the horizon and marvelling at the downpour washing away the grime of the trees , flowers, roads and even the pebbles of our garden with the sound of rainfall on the various surfaces and tree leaves creating a marvellous symphony of its own.

Then there I am straining away on my small blue bicycle away from the cricket field as I continue my struggle to reach the safety of my home before the fast approaching rain drops catch up with me.

Of course, there is a fun filled moment of a few of us , all teenagers, having a time of our lives playing football in a slushy mud spattered field in a rain soaked day, while the neighbourhood damsels watched us from the convenient safety of their verandahs. Maan, how we showcased our talents that day in the 'Inter para' football championship.

There is a complete collage of picking mangoes, playing ' Jumping in the puddle' , wrestling matches on the wet school ground and intentional rain drenching sessions to be able to get French leave from school.

Add to that, the memories of being huddled inside the room as the first 'Kalboishaki' lashed the city armed with generous doses of thunder and lightning and aided by storms reaching 90 km per hour. The fear and apprehension gave way to the pleasure created by the sudden fall in temperature as one sat back in the evening munching away at 'telebhaja' and 'muri' or huddled under the mango or guava tree to pick up the fruits dislodged by the storm. An occasional 'shilabristi' added to the charm and it was fun to reach out in the rain to get hold of the icicles falling from the sky.

There is also one memorable holiday in Darjeeling where I spent one full hour alone in the Mall sitting in the pouring rain, enjoying two cones of ice cream as I tried to get a feel of the mist covered mountains in the blurred horizon.

Then there were the romantic escapades of the mind pushing me to offer umbrella space to a good looking college mate (met with rejections almost always), offered lifts on a dilapidated scooter such that the dainty selves do not soil their lovely feet in the puddles (generally accepted) and of course, participation in typical college groups walking cheerfully in the pouring rain with the hope of getting close to the most recent infatuation.

Aah, those were the days when youth was me. Those were the days of monsoon magic and romance.

These days , when I see the same clouds, I am more worried about the waterlogging, work disruptions, the maid not turning up, car stalling in the water and water borne stomach ailments.

Is that a sign that I am aging?

Who knows? Maybe.

But this year, at least one day, I am going to deliberately wade in the monsoon puddle and enjoy it. That is a promise!!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Chalo Let's Go

I was never a film buff.

I mean I do not enjoy sitting inside a dark hall sharing some tear jerking melodrama with a group of unknown individuals; or for that matter neither do I appreciate laughing at some antics on the screen. I would rather read a quiet book at home and let my imagination run wild or go to the Eden Gardens and shout my guts out in favour of the Indian Cricket team (and not for a certain Mr. Khan) .

My experiences of a cinema hall were for Feluda films, Goopy Gyne series and of course, some love stories which I had seen with my wife ( which was when we were dating pre-marriage).

I have also sat through a lot of good movies in my living room, reclining on my sofa and with occasional flipping of sports channels in between thrown in for good measure. And I for a good measure diligently read the film reviews and gossip published in the Tabloid section of The Telegraph, Ananda Bazar Patrika and the Times of India -- such that I do not feel left out of the office lunch corner.

With that sort of background I contrive to do this blog on a film - a recent one by Anjan Dutta.

The seeds were sown with us (my wife and I) attending the Music Release of the film ' Chalo Let's Go'. This had to do with my love for the songs of Anjan Dutta and the presence of my 'Orkut Friend' Rudranil as one of the actors in the film. I loved the music and my wife seizing my moment of vulnerability (wives do have a sixth sense in reading the vulnerable moments of their husbands) extracted a promise out of me to see the film.

And so there I was at the movie hall with mixed feelings -- waiting for the movie to set rolling.

Two hours later I emerged out of the hall slightly uncomfortable-- dazed by the simplicity of the story, uplifted by the complexity dealt out in this span. A simple non linear story line dealing with the myriad nature of what we call the human mind embellished by the lush backdrop of North Bengal , nurtured by mind blowing music and held together by superb acting by non-stars made my evening.

I am tempted to discuss the nuances in detail . But I desist as neither do I have the capacity to express such depth, nor do I intend to give out the hidden joys that the film holds for the viewer. I would rather wish that individuals walk in to see the film and appreciate it in their own way. I know that it is not a 'classic'. But If you are a Bengali in the strange world of today, then the film would have held a small bit of recognition of yourself in any or many of the characters portrayed.

So I would recommend to all and sundry to 'Chalo let's go'.